Sunday, October 26, 2008
Eli, the firstborn and heir to the Boyd dynasty, has been a WEBELO Scout for about two weeks now. So far it means that we have sold popcorn at the front door of the grocery store and...gone camping! We just returned from our first family camping trip. We have RV'ed before with the grandparents and slept in tents in the living room, but now the Boyds have legitimately camped. (If a bunch of cub scouts sleeping in the back 40 of a farm in suburbia is legitimate camping.)
It was a good time. So far it seems to me that scouting means spending a lot of time dealing with flags - unfolding them, setting them up, walking them around, saluting to them, burning them. That's right. We burned four Old Glories at cub scout camp. The den leader is some guy named Bill Ayers and he says it's cool, so...
Not really. Evidently, burning is the preferred way to discard an old flag. The ceremony felt very solemn and "religious" for lack of a better word. They read from a liturgical manual and "released the spirit of our friend (the flag) back into the spirit of our nation." Then the kids ripped each stripe off the flag which created a strange eucharistic-like brokenness and tangibility to it. I could hear the harping voice of theologian Stanley Hauerwas yelling into my ear, but I pushed him away. "Scout camp isn't the place, Stan," I told him. But before long we were onto s'mores, which holds much less epistemological tension for me. Though I'm not sure the sticky fingers are worth the payoff at the end.
It was cold and miserable throughout the night, but I had fully expected it to be and we all survived. I spent a hour or so this morning taking apart my borrowed tent...the same tent that I spent most of yesterday afternoon constructing. Which brings me to my conclusion: If you skip the flags and tents, Cub Scout camping trips would last about 90 minutes.
Posted by Joe at 10:58 AM